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Dance the night away in Rio, Buenos Aires and Cusco

Dance the night away in Rio, Buenos Aires and Cusco

Everywhere you go in South America – from the steaming Andes to the towering Andes; bustling metropolises to tiny villages – you’ll hear music playing. And when there’s music, dancing is sure to follow. Read on to find out more about three of South America’s best dance destinations: Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Cusco.
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Iguazu gallery: The world's most beautiful waterfall in pictures

Iguazu gallery: The world's most beautiful waterfall in pictures

If a regular picture tells a thousand words, then a picture of Iguazu must tell many more. Sit back and enjoy our gallery of the world's most beautiful place. When Eleanor Roosevelt visited the Iguazu Falls she exclaimed, "Poor Niagara," and anyone who's visited this natural wonder on the border of Brazil and Argentina will understand why. Iguazu combines raw power and delicate detail in an intoxicating package that is at once humbling and elevating. And that's just the falls themselves... The surrounding national parks on both sides of the border incorporate pristine forests that are teeming with tropical birds, butterflies and flowers, not to mention the omnipresent coatis - the cheeky little rodents which practically own the place. What's more, there are loads of trails in the forests, many of which are blessedly free of tourists. Lots of travelers debate whether the Falls are better enjoyed from the Argentinean or the Brazilian side, but for us the question is a no-brainer. To …
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The Cidade Maravilhosa in glorious HD

The Cidade Maravilhosa in glorious HD

Making a stop-motion film that does Rio justice is no mean feat, but these guys have done it with knobs on! Brazil is going through a difficult time at the moment. The move to impeach president Dilma Rousseff is making international headlines; the economy is suffering a prolonged slump and there's doubt as to whether some of the infrastructure required to host the Olympic Games will be ready on time. But the fact remains that on August 5 2016 the eyes of the world will turn to Rio de Janeiro, the Cidade Maravilhosa or Marvelous City. The only way to truly experience Rio is to visit for yourself. But this incredible video from Brazilian film-making collective MOOV is the next best thing. Watch, enjoy and start making travel plans... Time of Rio - Copyright MOOV Films, 2013
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Duo Siqueira Lima video gallery: One guitar, four hands

Duo Siqueira Lima video gallery: One guitar, four hands

In 2001 an international guitar competition was held in Caixas do Sul in Brazil. The judges could not separate two of the entrants, and they awarded them joint first place. They were the Uruguayan Cecilia Siqueira and Fernando de Lima from Brazil.  That might have been the first time they shared a stage, but it was most certainly not the last. Cecilia and Fernando  first performed together in 2002 and four years later Duo Siqueira Lima was officially formed. The Duo's performances have been described as "as as finely detailed as a Fabergé egg" by the New York Times and they have performed all over the world - to great acclaim. Their work links "the classical to Brazilian instrumental" and they are also regular performers at international jazz festivals. On their recent US tour the duo received both public and critical acclaim, winning the Brazilian International Press Awards USA 2014 in the process. They first came to my attention via a Youtube clip of their quirky yet technically …
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The Justice Boat: a film about bringing hope to the Amazon

The Justice Boat: a film about bringing hope to the Amazon

Everyone knows about the Amazon but very little thought is given to its people. Instead we get excited about its incredible plants, animals, fishes and butterflies.  And we get worked up over its importance in the fight against global warming. It's true. The Amazon is the most biodiverse place on the planet and it is the world's lungs. But it also home to hundreds of thousands of people. Most films about the Amazon fall into two categories: heartwarming pastiches of frolicking wildlife. And politically-charged environmental sob stories. Not this one. For 13 years now, Judge Sueli Pini has been travelling on her so-called Justice Boat to the remote villages on the Amazon Delta. The steam boat houses a court with a public prosecutor, bailiffs and public defenders, a medical team, including a dentist, doctor and nurses, and a passport office with civil servants and ID card forms... Its story is simultaneously riveting, heart-warming and alarming. And you can watch it right here, right …
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VIDEO|São Paulo: The Most Underrated City in the World

VIDEO|São Paulo: The Most Underrated City in the World

A while back we featured an uplifting tale about a homeless poet in São Paulo. This week we've got some more incredible video content from the same city. Unlike Rio, São Paulo is unashamedly urban. Everything good and everything bad about São Paulo is down to its people. There are no spectacular landscapes and very few quaint colonial buildings. It is a modern urban sprawl and it is wonderful. You'll find the biggest art gallery on the continent and the largest bookstore. A shopping center dedicated to rock music and some of the best restaurants in the world (not least the magnificent D.O.M Restaurante). You'll find an ethnic diversity (from Lebanese to Japanese) that it is unrivaled anywhere in South America. You'll find concert pianists in the subway stations and graffitti everywhere. São Paulo is Brazil's answer to New York and it is intoxicating. Watch this video and you'll want to visit it. Like now.
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VIDEO "The Conditioned": An uplifting tale from Sao Paolo

VIDEO "The Conditioned": An uplifting tale from Sao Paolo

Would you  take the time to speak to the filthy, dread-locked homeless man who scribbles in a ragged notebook and sleeps under a pile of rags on a traffic island near your home? If you're anything like me, the answer is probably 'no'. But what if you did speak to him, ask him about his hopes and dreams? What if it turned out he was actually an accomplished poet, whose one vain hope was to publish his verses so that all the world could read them? Shalla Monteiro didn't just speak to Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho (aka 'The Conditioned), she helped to make his dream a reality, in the process reuniting him with his family. If this inspiring short film doesn't bring a tear to your eye, nothing will.
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Carlos Drummond de Andrade: the voice of Brazil

Carlos Drummond de Andrade: the voice of Brazil

The state of Minas Gerais has produced many of Brazil’s greatest literary figures, but one man stands head, shoulders and navel above them all. Carlos Drummond de Andrade is so beloved by Brazilians that his Cancao Amiga (Friendly Song) was actually printed on 50 cruzado banknotes. Drummond is much more than the father of Brazilian modernism; he is the father of a nation. But, like most great men, he wasn’t always famous. He was born in Itabira, a not-so-small mining town, before moving to Belo Horizonte, the provincial capital, to study pharmacy. Although he graduated easily, he never worked as a pharmacist and instead moved to Rio to become a civil servant in the ministry of education…And a poet. Drummond at home He spent much of his adult life in Rio, but as the Brazlian journalist Ángel Gurría-Quintana put it “Rio became his home and his muse, but Minas Gerais was never far from his thoughts.” Or in the words of the man himself: “Itabira is just a photograph on the wall. But …
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South American wine for dummies

South American wine for dummies

Wine drinkers in the US may think they are familiar with Chilean and Argentine wines, but a trip to South America will confirm that there’s far more to South American wines than Norton, Trapiche and Concha y Toro. Argentina and Chile are home to some amazing boutique wineries and even Brazil and Uruguay produce some pretty decent stuff these days! Use this guide to scratch the surface, then check out last year’s winners of the South American Wine Awards. Sunrise in the Valle de Uco, Mendoza (Picture: Tony Bailey) What to drink in Chile Although Chile produces less wine than Argentina, it started focusing on high quality output before its neighbor and as a result its wines are better known internationally. Chile has made carmenere – an ancient European grape, which has long since fallen out of favor in the old world – its own. Even in Chile it was long presumed to a hybrid of merlot – due to its similarities on the vine with its famous cousin – but recent DNA testing has …
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Best of Brazil

Best of Brazil

With the FIFA World Cup well underway the eyes of the world are firmly on Brazil. But there’s more to South America’s largest country than soccer. As a tourist destination, no country on earth can match Brazil. It’s enormous, it’s beautiful, it’s vibrant and it’s varied. But even in a cornucopia like Brazil, some spots are better than others. This week, we round up the best of the best. Enjoy the ride… Rio at night (Picture: Nicholas Bittencourt) Hit the beach In a country that’s blessed with warm tropical waters and over 4,700 miles of coastline, you won’t have much trouble finding a beach. Locals can’t agree which state has the best beaches on mainland Brazil, but Alagoas and Bahia in the North, Rio de Janeiro (both the state and the city) and Sao Paolo (the state not the city) in the center and Santa Catarina in the South all have legitimate claims to the title. If you’re prepared to include beaches which aren’t on mainland Brazil, it’s a little easier to reach consensus: most …
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VIDEO: Maradona's goal of the century (and commentary to match)

VIDEO: Maradona's goal of the century (and commentary to match)

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Brazil this Friday, and the whole of South America is holding its collective breath in anticipation. For today's world cup flashback we wind the clock back to 1986, when Argentina played England in the quarter final. The Falklands war had taken place only four years prior and the match was viewed as a chance for revenge by the whole of Argentina. The English were also pretty fired up. The game featured two of the most talked about goals in the history of football, and both were scored by the same man: Diego Armando Maradona. The first goal was scored illegally when Maradona used his hand to punch the ball into the back of the net, the next involved El Diez (a reference to the number 10 on his back) running half the length of the pitch, beating five English defenders and side-footing the ball into an open net. Throughout his career Maradona dished up equal servings of controversy and contradiction , but this match encapsulated the contradiction …
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Soccer: the beautiful game

Soccer: the beautiful game

Soccer, football, futbol, futebol… Call it what you like, the sport which requires nothing more than a ball (and a couple of tin cans for goalposts) is synonymous with South America. And finally, after a 64 year wait, football’s centerpiece is coming home. The last time the World Cup was played on South American soil was in 1978 (in Argentina) but we haven’t had a Brazilian World Cup since 1950. Much of the pre-tournament news has been about the unprepared stadia and the widespread protests at the perceived waste of taxpayers’ money. But you can rest assured that when it all kicks off on 12 June, with Brazil v Croatia, the negativity will all be forgotten and the entire continent will be stricken with a severe case of football fever which lasts at least until the final is played on 13 July, probably longer. If my experiences in Argentina during World Cup years are anything to go by, the whole of South America will grind to a shuddering halt for those four weeks. Except this time it’ …
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